What Cookie Clicker Taught Me About Life

If you haven’t played it yet, go check out cookieclicker.com here. It’s okay, I’ll wait for you for a while. Gotten to the grandmas yet? The shipments, the farms?


This is why I think that the cookie clicker is a perfect metaphor for the futility of life.

As I mentioned before, I get addicted to finishing stuff. I pursue full completion and absolute resolution. An essay isn’t complete until it’s entirely perfect. A book is not complete until every detail and theme has been thoroughly explored.

So a cookie clicker game puts me at somewhat of a quandary.

I don’t think I want to know about how much time I’ve wasted on this game, or this kind of mindless drivel in general. Oh what I could have done in the meantime! But thankfully, this game has made me consider some interesting facets of life.

1) There are a lot of stupid things that we can do with our lives. If you want to, you can bury yourself with absolutely meaningless work in the delusion that it will bring you happiness.

2) The feeling of happiness is not something you can easily click and obtain. Happiness is something that is derived from a wide range of things. If the only reason why you are doing something is to get some kind of artificial stimulus of pleasure, it’s going to fade away pretty quickly.

3) Humans will never be satisfied with what they have. One of the marks of cookieclicker is that it scales almost perfectly. As the amount of cookies rapidly increases, the cost for more upgrades increases just as quickly. The carrot of satisfaction is always held just a foot before where you are now.

4) It’s just a game. One of the biggest destroyers of the game is the ease of hacking into the game. While playing, you feel like each cookie is a valuable thing. But after you look into the code, you come to the realization that it’s nothing but a collection of numbers. All of that clicking and time? Just to increase a number by a couple powers of ten.

I’m not sure if I’ll go back to this game, but I know that I’ll waste time like this just as frequently in the future. The distractions of everything can become overwhelming. Reflecting on lessons like this may help bring me back to reality sooner.


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